Balloon Repair Station

Welcome 02.03.19

Well, what a February. Cracking month but too short. It always seems that it is a week short but of course it isn’t, just isn’t long enough. Now we’re into Hopping Hare Muddy March. The weather has been kind and we have managed to get a fair amount done including some early morning flying. We did have a crack at midday take off but it was just a tad gusty with the upper wind stationary. Never mind, made up for it by having a great flight across the village the following morning and waving to all those poor people on their way to work stuck in traffic. Great sport that. We even managed to land on our friendly Bierton farmer making it three times in the past month or two. Excellent. The HS2 archaeological mob swept across the back fields digging trenches and finding nothing, which wasn’t surprising on account the land in the valley was what is known as ‘The Forrens’ which is poorer agricultural land upon which the poor people farmed and lived. Not to be confused with the poor people going to work in their Mercedes! They did find some plough marks and evidence of ridge and furrow, along with some fault lines in the underlying chalk. The ‘interesting bit’ they decided to leave. The other reason was the speed of the exploratory trench cutting and refilling. Did it in a day! Made Time Team look like a bunch of amateurs, speed-wise. Now they’ve disturbed the soil best we get the metal detector out. Other than that we have been reasonably busy compared to previous years or more likely as we are concentrating the week into three days its appeared busy! Following a late afternoon walk over to Chequers Polly managed to cut her leg open on a flint, only discovered when we sat down to a pint in the Swan. “Um, Chris, your dog is leaking the red stuff!” Three stitches and ten minutes later and we were back having ESB and Pork Pie Friday. Stitches out now and you’d never know. Of course we were into ‘sorry but you realise after hours charges now apply’ at the vets. Hey Ho.

In our offerings this month the news is random stuff mainly. There’s a semi-farewell to David Barker who, as planned, has retired from inspecting to enjoy more time sipping chilled Cava whilst enjoying unrivaled views of the Pyrenees. He remains an ARC signatory for us so I’m sure will be assisting from time to time. With his daughter Eleanor now flying commercially and an unused brand new Kubicek 105 resting in the front room, despite having given up his licence a few years ago he does still get to fly. Huge thanks go to him for his support ever since we set up Easy Balloons. Have a good one matey. Also ‘thank you for your custom’ goes to Rosey, John Rose that is, who has retired from commercial flying. He ran the very friendly and popular Oxford Balloon Company offering flights over the City. He has now closed the business and his kit is up for sale. Now he can really concentrate on his first love, gas ballooning. Thanks John. We did quietly celebrate the Concorde record and Tim Orchard kindly sent us a rather more factual piece on the achievement along with some rather nice little piccies. Also there might be the finally finished article on John’s balloon in a day or two and something else I seem to have misplaced for the moment. That can be a ‘to follow’ article then (o:

Life in the dark Barn rumbles on. The Thunderbird remains untouched as the weather was too nice to be inside when I could be out. The Landcruiser brakes remain not done as we discovered stripped threads in the caliper mount. Ordered from Mr Landcruiser Breaker and on the way. The sofa has gone to me dad’s old house for Raj from the Raj (that closed down) to kip on and a fair amount of toot chucked. My new Hilux seems to have destroyed the splines on one of the front drive shafts so that needs doing. Don’t make them like they did. Bazzer is making in-roads into his Guzzi and bits various have been coming and going. A mission, that’s what he’s on. We have retired Alice’s old Astra estate an got her an 04 Zafira which, at 87,000 miles, I have to say is quite nice and was well cheap enough. Had to have CV boots and tyres but you can’t complain. Its suitably young people lived in now. Enough said. Me re-built C3 burner I’m using with George the ’56 has got a fluffy pilot light so that’ll need doing. On the bench, as they say. Did I mention me unbreakable glasses have broken, well they have. News like that means I’m running out of things that I can say!!! More soon. Top piccie is of the marks left by High Speed Archaeology the other morning just before March arrived! Then its Polly showing Tony the Train her poorly leg and him confirming ‘its rest for you’. Really! Then its onto the David Barker column with a piccie of G-BERT followed by his daughter Eleanor Barker flying for Atmosph’Air Montgolfiere Occitanes, demonstrating the rather lovely countryside around Albi, just to give you a nice summery feel. Thanks for calling by and have a great month. April’s News may be just a bit, bit early or not happen as Last of the Summer Wine goes walking in Spain at the end of March! All the best John, Chris, Jane and Polly.